Actavis to Buy Allergan for $66 Billion in ‘Transformative Deal’
Specialty and generic drug maker Actavis has agreed to buy Botox manufacturer Allergan for $66 billion in a move analysts say could help transform Actavis into a major pharma giant.
The deal, unveiled last week, means Actavis’ annual branded sales in 2016 will more than double from $7.8 billion to $16.6 billion, according to an estimate from Lawrence Biegelsen of Wells Fargo. Actavis’ generic business, meanwhile, is expected to account for a significantly lower percentage of overall revenue, down to 27 percent from the current 42 percent, he said.
“This would take Actavis’ branded business to an entirely different level than Actavis’ specialty pharma competitors, and put the drugmaker close to major pharma territory (for example, Bristol-Myers Squibb [has brand sales] at $17.3 billion and Lilly at $22 billion),” Biegelsen said in a research note.
The deal comes with access to Allergan brand drugs in ophthalmology such as Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) and Lumigan (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution), in addition to the blockbuster Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA). The products will complement Actavis’ existing portfolio of specialty drugs such as osteoporosis treatment Actonel (risedronate) and dementia drug Namenda (memantine HCl).
Actavis also will get access to Allergan’s 15 dermatology, urology, neurology and ophthalmology products currently in near- and mid-term development stages.
Company leaders singled out the financial potential of DARPin (abicipar pegol), an experimental treatment for the eye condition wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) expected to start Phase III trials next year. The drug is intended to have a longer duration of action and therefore require fewer injections into the eye than other AMD treatments, Allergan has said.
“If we can reduce the injection burden for patients then we can really have a potential blockbuster,” Brent Saunders, current Actavis CEO and the leader of the new company, said in a conference call.
The new company also remains committed to generics and will work to extend Botox to other markets, Saunders added.
The $66 billion cash and stock deal is 23 percent more than the $50.8 billion original bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The Canadian-based drugmaker relentlessly pursued a takeover of Allergan since April, but Allergan resisted the overtures due to concerns with Valeant’s acquisition-heavy business model. Valeant said that the $219-a-share price Actavis paid for Allergan was too steep.
Biegelsen noted that this is the second “transformative deal” in less than a year for Actavis after it acquired Forest Labs in February 2014 for $25 billion.
The Actavis-Allergan deal is expected to close by spring 2015 and must still be approved by both companies’ shareholders. — Robert King
Originally appeared in Drug Industry Daily, the pharmaceutical industry’s number one source for regulatory news and information. Click here for more information.